Friday, March 16, 2012

No Fracking says Northern Ireland Assembly

Mixed news from both jurisdictions of Ireland this St. Patrick's Day. First the good news. 
Steven Agnew, the sole Green member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, successfully pushed for a moratorium on fracking.  His motion (which he filed jointly with the Alliance party) won 49 votes in the Assembly last December, with 30 members voting against. 
Steven Agnew (r)
This success shows what even one Green legislator can achieve with a few allies on the inside and strong grassroots support on the outside. 

Now the not-so-good news from Ireland's other jurisdiction. The fossil-fuel extractor Tamboran is pushing ahead with its plans to drill in Ireland's Bundoran shale and the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, has issued the company a licensing option. Rabbitte is a Labor member of the coalition government and his letter to the Irish Times last year suggests that the government is focusing more on short-term revenue concerns than on long-term climate impacts.

Let's hope for better news next St. Patrick's Day.

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